By Ben Otake Sensei
Recently I watched in consternation something that was purported to be martial arts. The techniques presented were more appropriate for video games than for any real life situation.
I have no objection to anyone wishing to display his or her athletic abilities through demonstrations of tumbling or dance. They may even compete in such performances and call themselves world champions. However, these exhibitions should in no way be represented as martial arts.
In any endeavor, there should be an underlying purpose. Without such a purpose, there would be no motive to continue that endeavor.
The danger in representing hype as martial arts is that genuine techniques will be lost. Real techniques are relatively mundane compared to made up moves that do not have to account for a real life aggressive opponent.
The underlying purpose of martial arts is its use as an actual form of fighting. Whether that purpose is simply preservation of it as an art or for use as self-defense, the realism of the martial arts must be maintained.
Practicing movements that have no relevance to real fighting does not preserve the essence and meaning of the art.
I know there are many martial artists who practice with a sense of realism. I have met many of them. To them, the martial arts are not just some abstract thing that simply gives them a vehicle to show off their moves, it is a means to preserve the real meaning of their form of fighting.
Unfortunately, true practitioners voices are rarely heard. Instead the flash and dash, the hype, is what is being promoted. Eventually all the valid techniques will be lost. Martial Arts will become just another form of entertainment.
One way to preserve an art is for like-minded people to unite. I would like to hear from other martial artists who feel as I do. Perhaps we could form an informal group of united martial artist to share ideas and to preserve the integrity of the arts.
M.FORCE – Thank you Ben Otake Sensei.
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